American Lung Association Commits $25M to address COVID-19 and Emerging Respiratory Viruses

Association deepens commitment to its lung infection resources and research program to address COVID-19 and respiratory virus breakthroughs

As the nation’s leading voluntary lung health organization, the American Lung Association is launching a $25M initiative to end COVID-19 and defend against future respiratory virus pandemics. The COVID-19 Action Initiative will be used to expand the Association’s ongoing respiratory research program, enhance key public health measures, and establish an advanced network to stop future respiratory virus pandemics. The initiative will also work with public and private entities to increase research collaboration and develop new vaccines, detection tests and treatment therapies.

COVID-19, like most in the coronavirus family, is a respiratory disease, so the American Lung Association is uniquely positioned to have substantial and rapid impact. The Association will fund respiratory virus research through the following channels with its COVID-19 Action Initiative:

  • Expand COVID-19 research within the current clinical trials of the Airways Clinical Research Center (ACRC) Network
  • Fund Coronavirus Awards and Grants for preventive research, vaccines, antivirals and to advance future outbreak preparedness
  • Provide ACRC pilot grants to evaluate the effect of COVID-19 on patients with chronic lung disease

“The Association has always played a key role in managing respiratory viruses ranging from our work with influenza to funding basic research on understanding COVID-19,” said American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer. “We intend to serve as the convener of government, private industry and public health organizations to form a coalition that ensures better preparedness to meet the virus outbreaks of the future.”
In addition to raising funds to increase a research commitment, the Lung Association will allocate funds to education and advocacy to support public health against the current and future threats of COVID-19 and respiratory viruses.

“More than 36 million people in the U.S. suffer from lung disease, which places them at higher risk for experiencing complications of COVID-19, making it even more critical that we urgently work on reducing its impact,” Wimmer said. “Our Association was founded on the principle of using education, advocacy and research to eradicate tuberculosis, and we will use those same principles to ensure our nation can address today’s pandemic and is prepared for future lung infections like COVID-19.”

More information on the association’s COVID-19 Action Initiative can be found at

The Lung Association convened a panel of medical experts to introduce this initiative and also share critical updates about COVID-19 in an April 9 tele press-briefing. Listen to a recording here.

For more information, contact:

Elizabeth Cook
[email protected]

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